When I thought about what I wanted to be when I grew up, I never imagined that I might become an expert in kick scooting for grown ups! Unintentionally I should add. I’ve done 2 long-distance kick-scooter challenges – the first was Scoot the Loop, a 150miles 5 day kick scoot on the London Loop trail. Then in 2018, I took that to the next level with Kicking the States – kick scooting for 3 months covering 1,750miles the full length of the USA.
In the process of preparing for and doing these adventures, I spent a lot of time researching and understanding everything there is to know about kick scooters for adults (sometimes also called push scooters). Which are the best models. The advantages and disadvantages. Cheap and expensive. How far they can comfortably carry you.
And here’s what I know….
Before we start….
If you are new to this blog, I’m Bex Band – a full-time adventurer and founder of Britain’s largest adventure community for women, Love Her Wild. I’m on a mission to make getting outdoors and adventures as easy as possible. You can sign up to my newsletter here. Also check out my recently published book Three Stripes South, all about my first big adventure hiking the length of Israel.
Riding adult Kick scooters: pros and cons
- As they are not officially defined as a bike, in most cases, you can scoot on either the road or pavement
- They are beyond fun going downhill
- There is no skill to riding them, you just kick
- They’re lightweight and easy to move around and transport
- They are rubbish going uphill (you have to get off and push)
- You are stood up on your feet which is more tiring than being sat on a bike
- They are slower than a bike and not so flexible with working on different terrains
- There are few storage options
- People think you are weird for owning one if over the age of 15
How fit do you need to be to ride a kick scooter?
Honestly, not very fit. Especially because it’s quite easy to take things at a leisurely pace on a scooter.
Unlike a bit where you need to get your bum and legs used to using muscles, I found that kick-scooting was using muscle memory that already existed. I think it’s a similar movement to going up stairs or doing a lunge.
Riding kick scooters are ideal for taking short journeys – popping to the shops or commuting to and from work that is not too far away. But they can also be used for longer journeys.
When we did Kicking the States we were traveling about 50km (30miles) a day on our scooters. This would take us about 5-6 hours of scooting to cover this distance. Our biggest day we covered 80km (50miles).
The areas that got sore after a lot of kick scooting was the legs (particularly the knees) and lower back. After a long day scooting these areas would be achy. And also my hands – if there was a lot of downhill the heavy breaking took a fair bit of work.
I think the biggest downfall is that all the scooters I tried came up a bit short for me. I’m 5″9 so fairly tall. While most of the adult kick-scooters are adjustable, even on the highest setting I crouch a bit. While this isn’t ideal, for most short journeys – say if you were looking for an adult kick scooter for a 20min commute – you wouldn’t really notice this.
What are the best adult kick scooters?
There isn’t a huge range of adult kick-scooters available so your options are limited. You’ll notice that they vary greatly in cost from £70 all the way up to £2,000.
Best cheap adult kick scooter
Both of these scooters have similar features. Adjustable handlebars that reach to a good height. Wheels are small and plastic and the brakes are a simple back break (fine for little hills but would be dangerous on anything too big).
Their biggest selling feature is that they fold in half. Once you’ve collapsed the handlebars this then makes them very compact and easy to carry. Great for commuters.
Design-wise these scooters are basic. You will feel every bump and have little control if moving at speed – they aren’t going to be super comfy to ride. The lifeline on a basic cheap scooter like this isn’t going to be long but they are ideal for quick, easy and short journeys.
Max load: 100kg
Best big wheel adult kick scooter
This is a good kick scooter for heavy adults or if you are planning to use the kick-scooter on rough terrain (ie, off-road).
The best option for adult scooters with big wheels is without doubt Gravity Scooters. They have a huge range of scooters varying from £450 (their cheapest make is the Urban black) all the way up to £2,000.
We used these scooters on our Scoot the Loop challenge which was predominantly off-road scooting. They have big rubber wheels (a larger wheel at the front, smaller at the back). A front and back handle-bar brake system. And great suspension – including a higher foot stand to make your clearance better than on most adult kick scooters.
These scooters are built for speed and to last Gravity Scooters can be adapted for mushing (being pulled along by dogs).
Their biggest downfall is the fact that they are large and heavy to lug around and also that they are one of the lowest scooters in terms of height.
Max load: 150kg
Best kick scooters for adults commuting
Swifty Scooters are considered the best kick scooters for adults commuting, especially in the UK where you’ll see them being used around London or riden by celebrities. Swifty Scooters are not cheap, with a starting price of £500. Are there is no doubt what you are paying for – style.
Swifty Scooters look nice. They are lightweight and have attractive finishing touches like cork handlebars. Rear and front handle-bar breaks. Some of their models also fold down – not as small as a Razor or WeSkate but enough to make it functional as a kick scooter for adults commuting.
Their biggest downfall? For me, they aren’t sturdy enough to justify the price tag. While they look great, quality is lacking a bit for me. I tried out a Swifty Scooter for a day of riding and had to fix the breaks after just a few hours in.
Which brings me nicely onto my next option and most favourite adult kick scooter on the market…..
**MOST recommended** Best all-round adult kick scooter
Yedoo!!! After trying all our different options we settled on using a Yedoo scooter for our epic Kicking the States challenge. And these scooters did not disappoint!
Starting at £280 these scooters offer a good mid-range option. Yet for me are by far the best quality and most comfortable to ride. Although they offer big wheel adult scooter options, we opted for a Friday Scooter – which was a good balance for lightweight urban scooting while also having the power to take us up and down large hills.
Scooting on a yedoo felt effortless. They come with suspension. Rear and front breaking. And 16″ rubber tyres front and back. The only restriction with the Yedoo is the limited adjustment on the height.
Max load: 150kg
Best motor scooters for adults
Adult electric scooters (also called adult motor scooters or simply e-scooters) are starting to rise in popularity. Especially since companies like Bird in Los Angels started installing electric scooters that people can hire to get around the city.
They aren’t quite as practical as a regular kick-scooter. You need to weigh up charge time, additional weight that the motor adds and also the additional restrictions you’ll have as you’re now travelling at speed.
Here are some of the best motor scooters for adults on the market:
- Best budget option for a cheap motor adult scooter: Magicelec
For its price (ranges between £200-300) this scooter is perfect for short journeys. With a max speed of 20km, and foldable features, it’s ideal for an electric commuter scooter.
- Best e kick scooters for heavy adults or off-road: Gravity E-Scooters
Sturdy, comfortable and with large wheels. A gravity E-scooter will work on most terrains, including steep off-road downhills. Max speed 25km
- Best for multi-use: Swifty scooter motor kit
An electric kit will set you back £800 but this can be added to any scooter with the correct front forks width for the 100mm hub motor. You can travel up to 10miles on one charge.
Kick scooter pannier & bag options
One of the biggest downfalls of a kick-scooter is not having the space for storage as you would do with a regular bike. Of course, you can carry your bag on your back. But this isn’t always comfortable.
For both my kick-scooter challenges I adapted the scooters so that I could add a waterproof pannier to help carry some of my gear. Here are your options:
#1 Single pannier on the front
For Kicking the States we travelled super lightweight. We modified our handlebar to add a pole so a 17L bike pannier could slot onto the front (see more pictures here). This worked amazingly.
It was so easy getting the pannier on and off and surprisingly it didn’t affect the balance of the scooter. In fact, the extra weight made steering a little bit more stable. The pannier just slots on and off so is easy to take off when you stop for a coffee or arrive somewhere.
#2 Double Pannier over the front wheel
This only works if you have a large front wheel. You can attach a back pannier support to the front and hang small panniers on both sides. This gives you more storage and also didn’t interfere with steering although it makes the Scooter wider.
#3 Platform on the back and front
This is how Dave Cornthwaite set up his scooter for his Japan scooter trip. Swifty Scooters modified a platform on the back and front which you can then put a bag on top. I can’t comment on how this effects the scooting although I personally felt like the back platform might get in the way when your foot kicks back.
#4 Bag on the front handlebar
Again I’ve not tried this but I found a guy who toured the Caribbean on a Razor and attached a bag to the front handlebar. It looks nuts but he did 1000km so it must’ve worked!
Essential adult kick-scooter accessories
- A helmet is a necessary bit of safety kick (here’s the one I use)!
- If you do opt to find a storage solution, I can’t recommend OverBoard and their waterproof panniers enough
- Lights will allow you to kick-scoot at night safely. There’s no way to attach a light to the back of the scooter so we opted for a Topside helmet light which was a brilliant bit of kit. It omits an impressive beam and is rechargeable.
- A water bottle can be attached to the front of the handlebars for easy access. Alternatively, you can use a Source hydration backpack which is better for carrying larger amounts of water with you
WHAT Insurers DID I USe?
If you intend to go abroad or do a kick-scooter trip you will want insurance – one that covers cycling activities (which kick-scooters will come under)
Get inspired by other adult kick scooter-ers!
To give you some inspiration, here are adventures people have made on adult kick scooters:
- Jonathan Kelly is an Xootr rider and has some inspiration and guides on the website: http://andythousand.com/
- 1000km in the Caribbean https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1oucJG2Pqc and http://www.nicolaibangsgaard.dk/trailer-around-the-caribbean-by-kick-scooter/
- 1000miles in Japan https://davecornthwaite.com/scootjapan
- Touring South America: https://www.yedoo.eu/en/article/a-scooter-expedition-to-teach-you-527kmQ.aspx
- 127-mile canal trip: https://britishadventurer.com/2015/06/09/127-miles-on-a-kick-scooter-not-as-mad-as-it-sounds/
It took me a long time to write this guide, drawing together all my research. If you’d like to say thanks, you can buy me a coffee! I use the money to pay for the hosting and domain to keep this site going.